With the abundance of self-help, growth, and personal transformation literature on the market and the internet today, it’s clear there are a myriad of people exploring ways to live an easier and more fulfilling life. From e-books and mini-courses to blog posts and articles, there is no shortage of advice on how to create more daily simplicity, mindfulness, health, and happiness. While this flood of “new” information may be valuable as written from modern perspectives to solve modern dilemmas, many of these secrets to the good life have been discovered by others centuries before us.
The Amish bring us so much more than just beautiful Amish furniture. They are a people who choose a simple, community life and have done so for generations. They prioritize needs over wants, value over status, and they share these ideas with others.
Many of their traditions are encoded with practices that bring the kind of fulfillment those in our culture at large are now seeking to escape living at a frantic pace, driven by constant interruptions from notifications and messages of consumerism. The Amish have—with great intention and sacrifice—chosen ways of living that create strong relationships, connections to God, and strong communities in which to raise children and pass on to them these values.
We, too, would like to pass on some of the secrets of Amish life that we are sure will bring good things into your own.
Heightening the Value of ‘Goods’
Reuse/Repurpose — Before disposing of anything, consider if it can be reused or repurposed to reduce waste and cost in other areas.
Choose handmade items — As your interests and gifts lead, consider making heart-felt, crafted gifts for special occasions and whenever possible, purchase handmade goods for your home. The quality of these items and the meaning they carry are both very valuable.
Shop local — Choose retailers who live in your own community. This connection to place and local relationships will allow you to support the families who in turn support you.
Create your own cleaning products — Make use of the three natural cleaning agents that so many have found to work miracles in their homes: vinegar, baking soda, and lemons. You can find specific uses and measurements online for any project in your home.
Eating for Sustainable Health
Increase your intake of fresh food — Make fresh food a priority for your family and the effect on everyone’s health will surprise you.
Seek garden solutions — Commit to growing your own food in small steps as it makes sense for you. There are gardening options for any kind of home dweller, including those in apartments and condos. This intentional move towards sustainability and health will bring small bursts of accomplishment and joy that will seep into all areas of your life.
Canning and preserving — Growing and obtaining your own fresh food triggers the natural progression of learning how to keep it in large batches. This, in turn, will provide you with stores of needed food for the months ahead.
Save up — Purchase only what you can without borrowing and save up until this possible. The move away from debt and towards personal responsibility is empowering.
Fix what you can — Choosing to repair rather than replace keeps the focus on sustainability and value, which promotes a desire to …
Invest in high quality — Follow the Amish tradition of choosing quality items that increase in value over time. This would include Amish made furniture that can be passed down through the family and other large purchases that are worth saving up for.
Being Intentional with Technology
Intentional choices — Make up your mind that you will be in control of your devices, and that they will not control you. The Amish choose to use only the technologies they consider carefully and determine to bring more good than bad. While you may have different opinions about which technologies are needed, you will always be better for making your choices with thoughtful intention.
Refuse to be at the mercy of technology — Allow technology to be a help, but never a hindrance, to your life. This may include deciding which days you will take breaks from devices or perhaps learning to do the things by hand that you would otherwise “need” a machine for, even if only as a backup plan.
Mindful choices about power — As varied power sources become more of an option, consider varying your power sources away from all electrical to some solar, wind, or sustainable fuels. These choices can be made according to your own values, but regardless, the mindfulness of the choice will bring fulfillment to your life.
Incorporating Daily Practices
The Amish have a rhythm to life that provides them reminders of the things they want to keep important. Attendance at church and community events, daily readings, prayer, and solitude allow them to cultivate personal and group attributes that they want in their lives. We recommend finding ways to bring aspects like these into yours as well:
- Hard work
Take the first step to a simpler and fulfilling life today by browsing our handmade Amish furniture collections, contacting one of our designers, or just making the intention to consider Amish made furniture a choice for yours and your family’s future.